Target: Mark Ferrandino, Speaker of the Colorado House of Representatives and Lucia Guzman, President Pro Tempore of the Colorado Senate
Goal: Give communities in Colorado the right to restrict or ban polluting industries
Hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” is a high-polluting and energy-intensive method of extracting fossil fuels. Water, sand, and chemicals are typically injected into the earth at extremely high pressure, causing fractures that allow oil or gas to seep out and be collected. Groundwater contamination, air pollution, and the spread of toxic chemicals have become an all-too-familiar reality for more and more people as the practice spreads.
A group in Colorado is trying to do something about it. The Colorado Community Rights Network (CCRN) is seeking to amend the state’s constitution to include the Right to Local Self-Government Act. This would allow communities to ban or restrict any corporate project that residents see as a threat to human health or to the environment. Currently, CCRN is collecting required signatures, and spreading awareness on the issue. This would be the first ever state-wide bill of its kind.
Several Colorado communities have already voted to ban fracking, but the Colorado Oil and Gas Association and other pro-industry groups are suing to have the bans lifted. Similar lawsuits looking to protect fossil fuel profits becoming more common around the world, making CCRN’s struggle all the more relevant. Tell the Colorado House and Senate to put decision making authority back in the hands of local communities, and to support the Right to Local Self-Government Act.
Dear Senator Lucia Guzman & Represenative Mark Ferrandino,
Boulder, Broomfield, Fort Collins and Lafayette, Colorado have all voted to ban hydraulic fracturing. Voters have spoken, but fossil fuel companies are suing to have the bans lifted despite legitimate concerns for human health and the environment. The Colorado Community Rights Network (CCRN) is seeking to amend the state constitution to give cities the right to ban and restrict projects they deem as threat. You, too, should support the Right to Local Self-Government Act.
Constituents are worried that fracking operations, dams, genetically modified crops and other controversial projects are being approved despite community outcry, and even in violation of local laws. According to Ben Price, project director at CCRN, “The idea of consent of the governed says the people directly affected should make that decision.” And I agree.
If the organization is successful, the bill will be on the ballot next fall. I urge you to support the Right to Local Self-Government Act, both now and as it continues to gain traction. Stand up for the well-being of all Coloradans. Don’t let the profit motive decide the future of your state at the cost freedom, health, and the environment.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Joshua Doubek via Wikimedia